Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Batman #29

Batman #29 is a bizarre issue. I never thought I would see Batman offer criminals a huge payday to continue their mayhem in Gotham City. The entire comic takes place at the Wayne Manor dinner table where Bruce Wayne has gathered both the Riddler and the Joker (and some of their top lieutenants). With the War of Jokes and Riddles raging, and Batman impotent to stop it, Batman decides to... throw a dinner party?

Killjoys - Heist, Heist, Baby

Unaware of the chaos aboard the Hullen ship where Aneela (Hannah John-Kamen) is desperately searching for Delle Seyah Kendry (Mayko Nguyen) and consumed with taking back control of the green, the Killjoys come up with a plan to even the odds against their enemy. However, they're going to need some unusual tech to do so. Buying some information off some less-than-trustworthy allies who end up betraying them, Dutch (John-Kamen), Johnny (Aaron Ashmore), and D'Avin (Luke Macfarlane) head out to steal a sonic amplifier and, as usually happens wit the Killjoys' plans, things go wrong rather quickly.

Green Arrow #29

Green Arrow's road trip leads him to Gotham City where the reality of being a spoiled rich boy running away from his troubles is put to good use getting him one-step closer to answers as his investigation into Ninth Circle leads the Emerald Archer into the Court of Owls.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Dark Matter - My Final Gift To You

The future prophecies continue to come true as Three (Anthony Lemke), Five (Jodelle Ferland), and Six (Roger Cross) use Transfer Transit to visit Zairon to hear out Ryo (Alex Mallari Jr.) and recover the Raza's missing crewmate. Hoping to butter-up his guests, and throw them off-guard, Ryo uses his knowledge of their past to offer a gift to each of them. A coup d'├ętat ends the proceedings as the populace rises up against Ryo and Misaki (Ellen Wong) attempts to kill her emperor.

Wonder Woman #28

"Heart of the Amazon" continues with David Messina taking over the artistic duties for Mirka Andolfo. There's a noticeable change in style between the pair, and I can't help but feel a bit letdown by the change. Following her friend's injury, Diana vows to help Etta Candy recover after the government agent is released from the hospital. Still guilty over not being able to protect her friend from harm, Diana's day isn't going to get any better when an assassin shows up targeting the Amazon and putting Etta in further danger.

League of Legends Cosplay Music Video 2017

The Defenders - The H Word

For a show that had 65 previous episodes to set-up all the characters necessary to tell a combined storyline, the first episode of The Defenders spends an awful long time reintroducing us to the characters from each show. Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is released from prison, thanks in part to the help of Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), and returns to Harlem and Claire (Rosario Dawson). Danny Rand (Finn Jones) and Colleen (Jessica Henwick) stop their worldwide travels searching for the Hand and return to New York after an encounter with a familiar deadly warrior. Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is slowly drinking herself to death and refusing to take any case until threatened to stay away from the search for a missing architect piques her interest. And Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), long since putting his horned-mask and billy-club aside, continues to struggle against leaving that part of his life behind.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Movie Card Trader Awesome Pack 1

After doing several sets of cosplay trading cards, I thought I'd do a few movie cards.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Hitman's Bodyguard

When searching for something, anything, positive to say about a bad movie you can almost always fall back on "Well, at least it was in focus." Sadly, I can't even offer that most basic of compliments to The Hitman's Bodyguard in which any strong ambient light destroys the focus of the shot, highlighting characters in a fuzzy glow while blurring out the entire background in a bizarrely amateurish manner.

Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson star in an uninspired buddy comedy about a once-proud bodyguard and his newest client, a man who has attempted to kill him on numerous occasions, who he needs to deliver in time to testify against a bland movie villain (Gary Oldman) for reasons that only makes sense in a script where things explode for no reason whatsoever.

Although there are some minor chuckles to be had (mostly from the pair adlibbing), and one strong chase sequence around the canals of Amsterdam, The Hitman's Bodyguard is an uninspired mess featuring two actors screaming at each other for the better part of two hours.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Star Wars #34

Temporarily leaving behind the battle between the Empire and the Rebellion, Star Wars #34 offers a fun adventure with the unexpected team-up of Sana Starros and Lando Calrissian. The former ropes the later into a complicated con involving the selling of stolen Imperial blasters to multiple buyers including space pirates, Hutts, and even the Empire itself. Her quick thinking and manipulation of each situation can't help but impress her fellow scoundrel (even when she puts his life in danger). Sadly, for the lovable scoundrel, Lando will never see the payday for all his help.

Incredible Cosplayers of Anime Expo 2017

Shadowhunters - Beside Still Water

Shadowhunters closes its Third Season by wrapping up the Valentine (Alan Van Sprang) storyline, laying the foundation for multiple conflicts next season, reigniting old passions, and (temporarily) killing a major character. Armed with the Mortal Cup and the Mortal Sword, Valentine travels to Lake Lynn to complete his master plan. The villain is successful in raising the angel Raziel, but he won't live long enough to see his dream of a world without Downworlders come to fruition when he's cut down by his daughter (rather easily concerning how easily he was throwing her around like a rag doll only minutes before) who uses the one wish granted by the angel to restore Jace (Dominic Sherwood) to life.

The Shadow #1

Writers Simon Spurrier and Dan Watters are not the first who have attempted to update The Shadow and bring the vigilante into a more modern storyline. It's a problematic decision as the world of the Shadow, including the age in which he was born and prospered, is very much tied to the core of the character. The first issue gives us stories of the Shadow, a legend half-forgotten. Our narrator is not either Lamont Cranston nor Margo Lane. The later doesn't appear in the issue (which, aside from flashbacks, may be true of the former as well).

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Preacher - Puzzle Piece

Initially seeing Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) as nothing more than other false idol for Grail Industries to kill and bury, Klaus Starr (Pip Torrens) sends a team to do just that. While the preacher's survival infuriates Starr, and causes him to call for a drone strike on Jesse and his friends, something found in the surveillance footage of the apartment will give the man an entirely different perspective on the matter and give him the puzzle piece he has long been searching for.

Voltron: Legendary Defender - Red Paladin

Musical chairs is the theme of the second episode of Voltron's Third Season. With the Black Lion's acceptance of Keith (Steven Yeun) as its new paladin a new spot opens up in the team. For his acceptance of Keith's new role, Lance (Jeremy Shada) is accepted as the paladin of the Red Lion leaving the Blue Lion available for Princess Allura (Kimberly Brooks). With a line-up that more closely resembles that of the original Voltron cartoon, Voltron now again has five paladins to protect the universe. And it seems the universe does need protecting.

San Diego Comic-Con Best Cosplay 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rick and Morty - Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender

From the moment Morty (Justin Roiland) shows Rick (Roiland) his stamp card telling his grandfather the tenth adventure will be with the Vindicators, Rick is a sullen prick (so... pretty much the norm). First, how great is it that Morty has a stamp card? And that Rick's "reward" for putting his grandson through all types of horror is to allow him to pick a single adventure for every ten Morty gets dragged on? Rick isn't pleased to see the Vindicators again, insensitively mocking the heroes as the prepare to stop Worldender from... well, ending worlds I guess. Worldender isn't he villain of he episode, however, it's Rick.

The Freemaker Adventures - Flight of the Arrowhead

The Second Season of LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures has been about completing Rowan's (Nicolas Cantu) vision of the ship that will save the Rebellion. After retreiving the final piece, and getting out of the fray of the Rebellion's latest skirmish wit the Empire, the Freemakers and head to the deserts of Jakku along with Quarrie (Corey Burton) and Valeria (Yvette Nicole Brown) to finish the Arrowhead in seclusion. However, it turns out the desert isn't quite as abandoned as they believed.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #13

Bizarro, and his connection to the other two Outlaws, is the focus of Red Hood and the Outlaws #13. With their friend dying, Red Hood and Artemis go to the one person who they believe might be able to save him, the Superman clone's creator - Lex Luthor. Choosing to help, while threatening legal action for theft of his property, Luthor gets to work on Bizarro as Red Hood and Artemis become introspective about how the odd creature has brought them together. While the first group of Outlaws was thrown together, this group has bonded in large part thanks to a super-powered white-skinned moron.

Game of Thrones - Eastwatch

After her resounding victory of dismantling the Lannister army, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is left to dispense justice on the battlefield. The breaker of chains has no intention of taking prisoners, leaving the surrendering soldiers with the choice of serving a new queen or death by fire. Returning , the Mother of Dragons is granted to a surprise in seeing how Drogon responds to Jon Snow (Kit Harington), in another small moment the show continues to build the trust between the wary allies while keeping the truth of Jon's paternity from the both of them... at least for now.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Dark Matter - The Dwarf Star Conspiracy

A little knowledge can be dangerous. Information from their recent rendevouz sends the crew of the Raza to a secret Dwarf Star base where they discover that Two (Melissa O'Neil) is far from the only one of her kind. The facility houses thousands of sentient biological machines, all with pre-made backstories ready to be awoken and unleashed upon the galaxy. However, that's not the most disturbing part of what they find on the station. Confirming Three's (Anthony Lemke) recent nightmares, the Raza find a gateway where alien parasites await to come through and take control of their willing synthetic hosts. The arrival of a Mikkei ship doesn't help situations, especially when Five (Jodelle Ferland) discovers one of their soldiers is another synthetic agent.

Detective Comics #962

Although Batman: Knightfall and its events apparently don't exist in the new Rebirth DCU, Detective Comics #962 offers some fan service to the storyline that saw Azrael temporarily step-in as Batman. With the former soldier of St. Dumas out of control, the Bat Family put Azrael in a new suit of armor giving him added support against the voices of Ascalon and the programming which is trying to reassert itself on him. That suit jumps happens to have a familiar design.

SDCC 2017 Cosplay San Diego Comic-Con Music Video Vlog

Killjoys - The Wolf You Feed

The nature of Dutch's (Hannah John-Kamen) connection to both Khlyen (Rob Stewart) and Aneela (John-Kamen) has been one the show's writers have kept close to the vest, until now. With the help of Zeph (Kelly McCormack), Dutch undergoes a risky medical procedure which allows her to see into the memories of Aneela allowing the Killjoy to discover the nature of Khlyen's relationship with her more evil and unstable doppelganger and better understand what led Klein to rescue her all those years ago. Like most of the show's reveals, it's about as bizarre as possible. And answers she finds only raises further questions for Dutch and who and what she is.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Shadowhunters - Hail and Farewell

"Hail and Farewell" sets up next week's season finale and a confrontation between Clary (Katherine McNamara) and Jace (Dominic Sherwood) and Valentine (Alan Van Sprang). Before that happens, however, the Shadowhunters will square off against Jonathan (Will Tudor) and the truce between the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders will crumble as the vampires, mages, and werewolves choose to stand with the Seelie Queen (recast as Sarah Hyland, suggesting a much larger role for the character next season) and her plan to go after Valentine themselves rather than continue to rely on the Shadowhunters.

Mister Miracle #1

Well... that's not what I was expecting. For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Mister Miracle is one of the New Gods created by Jack Kirby in 1971. A mix of escape artist and super-hero, Mister Miracle is best known by anyone from my generation as a member of the goofiest damn Justice League team ever assembled. This comic is anything but goofy. We're introduced to a Mister Miracle who isn't all there. Bruised and battered from a trick that went right (or possibly wrong) Scott heads home with Big Barda only to be haunted and hounded by a phrase (Darkseid Is) and hallucinations.

Preacher - Holes

"Holes" marks the return of the subplot of Eugene (Ian Colletti) and his time in Hell. Learning to act like the bullies who picked on him most of his life, Eugene has found a way to temporarily fit in. However, Hell's minions know that something isn't right and the cause is an individual who doesn't belong. Here's the rub - Euguene is obviously the ward's newest resident... so why isn't he the equally-obvious suspect? Eugene's personal Hell gets a bit more twisted when he's thrown into the pit for an act of kindness. The Hell we see on display is less torturous and more generally fucked-up than anything else, but it's fucked-up enough for Eugene to take Hitler (Noah Taylor) and his offer of escape seriously.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Jessica Jones #11

For the past few issues Jessica Jones has been hunting down the identity of the person who put a hit out on Maria Hill, former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and her current client. Things got complicated when evidence seemed to suggest Hill herself was responsible and a Life Model Decoy of Hill attempted to kill Jones in her office.

Hooten & the Lady - Ethiopia

After Ella (Jessica Hynes) is kidnapped and help for ransom, Lady Alex Lindo-Parker (Ophelia Lovibond) borrows an artifact from the British Museum and heads to Ethiopia. Tagging along, albeit disappointed in the lack of treasure, is Ulysses Hooten (Michael Landes). Playing on established themes, the episode features a dangerous woman (Katja Hopkins), villains in search of treasure, bickering by our two intrepid adventurers, and artifacts and clues meant to lead to some long-lost archaeological find - this time belonging to the Queen of Sheba.

Batman #28

Batman's recounting of the War of Riddles and Jokes" continues (as does the return of his narration in a conversation with Catwoman). Things haven't improved for the good citizens of Gotham. The Joker and the Riddler have each carved half of the city for themselves, enlisting countless villains to their side in a war that rages on. From what we see there the sides appear fairly equal with Deadshot and Deathstroke getting prominent cameos.

The Freemaker Adventures - The Storms of Taul

When he was first introduced in 2009 in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, I wonder if anyone thought Hondo Ohnaka (Jim Cummings) would still be going strong eight years later on other Star Wars animated properties. In "The Storms of Taul" Hondo offers to help the Freemakers search for a piece for the Arrowhead on the planet of Taul (which he forgets to mention is covered in acid rain and lightning storms). Hondo's betrayal of the group and the sudden appearance of M-OC (James Urbaniak) don't help matters.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Anime Expo 2017 (Celebrate Cosplay Independence Part 1)

Rick and Morty - Pickle Rick

After turning himself into a pickle to avoid family therapy, Rick (Justin Roiland) has one hell of a day. What starts out as a cute, if bizarre, premise of Rick rolling around the garage bench celebrating his pickleness soon turns dark for the pickle man who gets washed into the sewer. One of the bloodiest episodes of the series, "Pickle Rick" showcases Rick murdering dozens of rats for their body parts in order to construct an exoskeleton and make it out of the sewer. Climbing out of the toilet of a foreign embassy full of gun-totting fools, Rick's day of murder (involving knives, lasers, explosives, and Home Alone-style murder traps) has just begun.

Dead of Winter: Good Good Dog #1

Sure, there are plenty of post-apocalyptic comics out there where zombies roam the desolate remains of the Earth, but how many star a former canine television star turned zombie killing machine? Dead of Winter: Good Good Dog #1 introduces us to Sparky, a Lassie-like former star, who now helps her friends fight off the zombie horde and rescue other survivors before they become part of the undead buffet.

Dark Matter - Built, Not Born

Teased at the end of the previous episode, "Built, Not Born" offers the return of Android's (Zoie Palmer) robotic friends who call on the Raza's help to cover-up a murder, get three of them off a space station, and deliver them to their creator. Although the motives of their robotic friends will remain hidden from the crew, Two (Melissa O'Neil) will get a shock when meeting Dr. Shaw (Palmer) who not only created the Android but also was one of the scientists responsible for creating her as well.

Teen Wolf

Although it's hard by any objective standard to classify 1985's Teen Wolf as a "good movie," the star vehicle for a young Michael J. Fox written by Jeph Loeb and Matthew Weisman is undeniably entertaining.

The story centers around average high school student Scott Howard (Fox) who discovers he's a werewolf. Rather than hiding this fact, which gives him speed, agility, and power for the first time, Scott brings out the wolf on the basketball court making the sorry team instantly better, and turning himself into a celebrity - something his best friend Stiles (Jerry Levine) is only too happy to exploit for profit.

If you remove the werewolf, Teen Wolf is a pretty generic high school film. We get a good kid, the hot girl he lusts for (Lorie Griffin), her evil boyfriend (Mark Arnold), and the girl (Susan Ursitti) who likes him. Between scenes of the werewolf surfing on top of a van and playing basketball, there's also Scott learning a life lesson about accepting himself for who he is.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Harley Quinn and Batman #1

A prequel of sorts to DC's new animated straight-to-DVD release Batman And Harley Quinn, the new digital series from artists and writers tied to Batman: The Animated Series begins here with the opening story by Ty Templeton and artist Rick Burchett focused on Harley Quinn's betrayal of the Joker.

Game of Thrones - The Complete Third Season

Although events continue to meander through far too many separate storylines, Season Three of Game of Thrones begins pairing off some of our characters in unexpected ways. Together on the road, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are more interesting than either have been separately. In much the same way, Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) make for amusing traveling companions.

In something which is beginning to become a pattern for the show, the season leaves its big event for near the end of the year. Season Three gives us the memorable Red Wedding in which we say farewell to some of the glut of supporting characters (although not necessarily all the right ones). And Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) begins to grow her army and legend. She gets some memorable moments, but sadly is destined to become mired in the show's pacing and her journey home to reclaim her thrown will get put on hold for a good long while. Disconnected from all other threads, it seems obvious to everyone but the show's writers that she's the series' standout character.

Voltron: Legendary Defender - Changing of the Guard

Voltron: Legendary Defender begins its shortened Third Season with rebellion against the Galra spreading like wild fire. While Haggar (Cree Summer) has kept the severity of Emperor Zarkon from his soldiers, Prince Lotor (A.J. Locasio) has arrived to take control. Distrusted by his exile, rumors of his mercy, his unorthodox style, his love of "half-breeds," and his sudden appearance, Lotor makes an impressive introduction to the troops quickly dispatching on of his most popular rivals. Zarkon may be gone, but it appears the Galra aren't giving up their empire without a fight.

Wonder Woman #27

Wonder Woman #27 picks up immediately following the events of the previous issue with Diana protecting an entire room full of people from a bomb. Racing to get medical attention for Etta at Mega Ultatech, Wonder Woman will discover not only the identity of the bomber but the reason behind the attack as the (foreshadowed) truth about Dr. Crawford is revealed.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Freemaker Adventures - The Embersteel Blade

Needing specific hard-to-come-by parts to create Rowan's (Nicolas Cantu) vision of the Arrowhead, the Freemakers go undercover at an Imperial auction hoping to use the limited Rebel credits to get their hands on an old shuttle. When and over-zealous Zander (Eugene Byrd) bets on the wrong ship and familiar faces like Graballa, Wick Cooper, and others show up at the auction things get complicated - even more so when Graballa kidnaps Kordi (Vanessa Lengies) believing her to be a princess he can ransom to pay for his resort.

The Circle

There's an interesting premise to this adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel about a woman forced to redefine concepts like privacy and community after being hired by one of the world's largest technology companies. The Circle (think Apple meets Facebook, but more cult-ish) provides Mae (Emma Watson) with all she's every wanted, including healthcare for her ailing father (Bill Paxton). However, the level of intrusiveness the company not only engages in but celebrates opens the door to some big questions (which, unfortunately, the film doesn't really do much to explore).

It would have been very easy for The Circle to be a thriller about the invasion of technology and destruction of privacy, an evil corporation out to do bad things with data, and a world seeming unaware at what they are giving up. The film, however, has bigger aspirations than that, bringing some intriguing questions to the forefront while constantly fighting off the tendency to fall into easy cliche.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Power Girl cosplay by Robin Art & Cosplay

Robin Art & Cosplay is a French/Czech cosplayer and model based in California. You can follow her on Facebook, deviantART, Instagram, and Twitter.

Cosplay Remix: Overwatch

Infamous Iron Man #10

Mothers and sons. Infamous Iron Man #10 picks up events with Victor von Doom spending some time outside this dimension recuperating from his time with S.H.I.E.L.D. The fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attempted to murder a helpless prisoner has been quickly forgotten as the Thing is sent after Doctor Doom to finish the job Doom's mother prevented from happening aboard the Hellicarrier.

Shaycation: Greece

Shay Mitchell shares highlights from her trip to Greece.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Shadowhunters - Awake, Arise, or Be Forever Fallen

"Awake, Arise, or Be Forever Fallen" pushes events forward to the show's looming season finale in two weeks. First, after an attack on Max (Jack Fulton), Jonathan (Will Tudor) is forced to push up his timetable and attempt to steal the Mortal Mirror before they young boy can awake. Second, despite the recent turmoil, the return of a rival, and the drama over a mundane being turned into a wolf, Luke (Isaiah Mustafa) reasserts his dominance over the pack (although tipping off his partner about the dark world underneath the surface). And last, given an ultimatum by the Seelie Queen (Lola Flanery), Magnus (Harry Shum Jr.) must balance his feelings for Alec (Matthew Daddario) against doing what is best for the Downworlders.

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #5

Kaine finally catches up to Ben Reilly in Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #5. The comic is most memorable for the fight between the pair that takes up most of the issue. Despite his vow to kill the other clone, Kaine decides to let Ben Reilly live for now leading to a temporary halt in hostilities between the pair until Reilly can cure a sick child (who he neither knows how to cure nor really wants to).

Preacher - Pig

"Pig" offers a short respite for our weary travelers. Putting the search for God on hold, Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga), and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) take time to con themselves into a drunken night which leads to Cassidy waking up in the morgue and Jesse noticing the first inkling of something between his two friends.

San Diego Comic Con 2017 Cosplay Music Video

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rick and Morty - Rickmancing the Stone

It's a mad, mad world when Rick (Justin Roiland), Summer (Spencer Grammer), and Morty (Roiland) head to an post-apocalyptic Earth not unlike a recent film. Spending more time with their grandfather since their parents divorce hasn't seemed to help anyone. Summer has taken a dark turn, taking an immediate shine to her new surroundings while Morty's initial dislike of the new world is softened when Rick's experimenting gives him a monstrous-sized arm to beat our his anger on all comers as he becomes master of the Blood Dome.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #25

One step forward, ten steps back. I have to say I'm disappointed in the outcome of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #25. While the over-sized issue itself is fine, although far from great, the build-up to a new day for the Green Lantern Corps working alongside the Sinestro Corps is wasted here returning everything to the status quo.

Killjoys - Attack the Rack

The war against the Hullen begins as Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) leads a culling of the local branch of the Rack which goes horribly wrong when the Killjoys discover they have been betrayed by one of their own (Erik Knudsen). While Dutch continues to skulk around playing whack-a-Hullen, Johnny (Aaron Ashmore) and D'Avin (Luke Macfarlane) are captured and tortured for information. Despite surviving, and proving the truth about the Hullen to the leaders of the other Rack groups, the Killjoys are dealt yet another crippling blow as Aneela (Hannah John-Kamen) destroys all the enemies standing in her way.

Ghost in the Shell

Based on the manga series of the same name, the live-action Hollywood Ghost in the Shell stars Scarlett Johansson (whose casting caused fan backlash). In a world where people are enhanced with cybornetic implants, Major is the first police officer whose brain (or ghost) is housed within the shell of the most advanced robot. While working for the corporation which built her, Major begins to learn disturbing secrets about them and herself that have little to do with keeping the peace. And, if any of this sounds familiar, it's pretty much the plot of Robocop (without the humor).